Will Buying Tropical Forest Carbon Benefit the Poor? Evidence From Costa Rica

Land Use Policy Volume 24, Issue 3, 2007

Posted: 9 Jan 2019

See all articles by Romina Cavatassi

Romina Cavatassi

IFAD

Alexander Pfaff

Duke University - Policy, Economics, Environment; Duke University - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Suzi Kerr

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

Benjamin Davis

United Nations - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Joanna Hendy

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 2007

Abstract

We review claims linking both payments for carbon and poverty to deforestation. We examine these effects empirically for Costa Rica during the late 20th century using an econometric approach that addresses the irreversibilities in deforestation. We find significant effects of the relative returns to forest on deforestation rates. Thus, carbon payments would induce conservation and also carbon sequestration, and if land users were poor could conserve forest while addressing rural poverty. We note that the poor appear to be marginalized in the sense of living where land profitability is lower. Those areas also have more forest. We find that poorer areas may have a higher supply response to payments, but even without this effect poor areas might be included and benefit more due to higher (per capita) forest area. They might be included less due to transactions costs, though. Unless the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol is modified in its implementation to allow credits from avoided deforestation, such benefits are likely to be limited.

Suggested Citation

Cavatassi, Romina and Pfaff, Alexander and Kerr, Suzi and Davis, Benjamin and Hendy, Joanna and Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo, Will Buying Tropical Forest Carbon Benefit the Poor? Evidence From Costa Rica (July 2007). Land Use Policy Volume 24, Issue 3, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3307538

Romina Cavatassi (Contact Author)

IFAD ( email )

Via Paolo di Dono
Rome, 00142
Italy

Alexander Pfaff

Duke University - Policy, Economics, Environment ( email )

201 Science Drive
Box 90312
Durham, NC 27708-0239
United States

Duke University - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience ( email )

Durham, NC 27708
United States

Suzi Kerr

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand
+64 4 383 4250 (Phone)
+64 4 383 4270 (Fax)

Benjamin Davis

United Nations - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ( email )

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Rome, Lazio 00100
Italy

Joanna Hendy

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand

Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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